28 Sikhs were killed in an attack on a Sikh temple on March 25. Intelligence agencies say that Lashkar-e-Tayibba and Haqqani Network, controlled by Pakistan’s ISI, are responsible for the terrorist attack. The Islamic State claimed responsibility but defence experts are saying it’s a plot to divert investigations ….reports Asian Lite News
Lord Rami Ranger, Chairman of the British Sikh Association, has appealed to the British government to extend help to the Sikh community in Afghanistan.
28 Sikhs were killed in an attack on a Sikh temple on March 25. Intelligence agencies say that Lashkar-e-Tayibba and Haqqani Network, controlled by Pakistan’s ISI, are responsible for the terrorist attack. The Islamic State claimed responsibility but defence experts are saying it’s a plot to divert investigations.
This was the deadliest attack since the peace deal was signed between the US and Taliban in Doha, where the US has agreed to completely withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. The deal was signed in the presence of Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
“I condemn the most barbaric and murderous attack on innocent Sikhs in Kabul in a Gurudwara when they are praying,” Lord Ranger said. “This is a most appalling act of cowardice on unarmed innocent people. I would like all the governments to condemn this act. I am appealing to the Muslim Council of Britain to condemn this horrible act in the name of religion.
“No religion preaches to kill fellow human beings,” he added. “There for we must unite against this common threat and strive for peace in the region.”
Lord Ranger, one of the most influential Western politician of Indian-origin, appeals to the British government to extend all the support to the Sikh community.
“The minority Sikhs are in fighting for existence in Afghanistan,” Lord Ranger told Asian Lite. “I am urging Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to instruct Her Majesty’s Representative in Afghanistan HE Alison Blake to extend all the assistance to the Sikh community in Afghanistan.”
US Kashmir Forum Condemns
Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum (WKAF) condemned the terrorist attacks on Sikhs at the Karte Parwan Sikh Gurudwara
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to the bereaved families and friends,” the US-based forum said in a statement. “We ask that the Afghanistan government set-up an impartial Commission to investigate this heinous crime and bring the culprits to justice.”
The WKAF expresses its solidarity with our global Sikh community at this moment of tragedy and demands from the Afghan government an impartial inquiry into the massacre with the assistance of international agencies such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.
The Chairman JK People’s Justice Front Aga Syed Abbas Razvi also condemned the Kabul terror attack saying targeting of a religious place in the midst of the Covid-19 is anti-Islamic and against the teachings of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Islam is a religion based on peace and never allowing anybody to justify any body’s killings on the grounds of religion, sex, caste or anything else.
Razvi added that all those responsible be held accountable and our party stand shoulder by shoulder with our Sikh brethren in this irreparable and unfortunate tragedy.
Religious minorities in the Muslim-majority country of Afghanistan have often come under attack from Islamist extremist groups. Suicide bombers of the Islamic State militant group in 2018 targeted a group from the Sikh community and killed 19 people, including its leader Awtar Singh Khalsa, in Jalalabad. Khalsa, who had announced his candidature for the parliamentary elections, and other members of the Sikh community were in Jalalabad to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
More than four decades of armed conflict in Afghanistan has forced thousands of Hindus and Sikhs to seek refuge in other countries, especially India.
The violence and strong social and religious discrimination have drastically reduced the number of Sikhs in Afghanistan to around 1,500 from some 200,000 30 years ago.
The attack comes a day after the United States declared that it was cutting its aid to the Afghan government by $1 billion amid a political crisis between President Ghani and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah triggered by alleged fraud in last year’s presidential polls.
The political feud has delayed the formation of a government-sponsored team to negotiate with the Taliban for intra-Afghan peace talks which were scheduled to kick off by March 10.
The US on February 29 reached an agreement with the Taliban for a roadmap to pull out American troops from the war-ravaged country. The plan was to start with the withdrawal of 8,600 soldiers within 135 days from the date of the signing of the deal. Currently, some 14,000 US troops remain deployed in the country.
However, the insurgents and the government remain deadlocked over an agreement regarding the swapping of prisoners, which was a part of the US-Taliban accord and considered crucial for the commencement of the intra-Afghan talks.